Ashley Hall School Announces Departure of Head of School Jill Muti in June 2022: Longstanding Leader of South Carolina’s Only Independent Girls’ School Leaves a Legacy of Accomplishments

Charleston, SC, December 15 — Ashley Hall announced today that Jill Muti, the Head of School, will leave her position on June 30, 2022. The Ashley Hall Board of Trustees will launch a national search for new leadership to build upon Muti’s nearly two decades of accomplishments that have ensured the 112-year institution’s place as a preeminent school for girls in the region and the nation. It is expected that a new Head of School will assume the role on July 1, 2023. 

“Jill Muti has made an indelible impact on Ashley Hall’s stature and reputation for building self-reliant, independent thinking, and confident young women at every stage of their development. Today we enjoy record-high enrollment, deep community relationships, and an outstanding and loyal faculty and parent community whose devotion to our children is matchless. Jill will be forever part of Ashley Hall and we wish her all the best,” said Anne Frances Bleecker, Chair of the Ashley Hall Board of Trustees.

Muti, who has accepted the position of Head of School at the prestigious St. Stephen’s School, an American day and boarding International Baccalaureate World School located in Rome, Italy, said, “It has been an honor to serve the Ashley Hall community for 18 years. Together with our Board, faculty, alumnae, and students, we have created an authentic learning environment that honors Ashley Hall’s enduring mission and hallmarks. The important work of preparing girls to meet the challenges of the 21st century with confidence has driven all that we have accomplished at Ashley Hall. I embark on the next phase of my career filled with gratitude.”

Among Muti’s signature achievements at Ashley Hall are:

  • Engineering the Ashley Hall Learning Spiral, a comprehensive curricular approach to education that features an intentional pattern of incremental learning from pre-primary students to seniors that serves the intellectual, emotional, and physical needs of each student in every phase of development.
  • Reimagining the school’s faculty professional development program to create an institution of continuous intellectual pursuit and academic growth, benefiting faculty and students alike.
  • Establishing a school-wide focus on whole-child development, with a comprehensive health and wellness program and specialized learning environments for early adolescents: the Intermediate Program for 5th and 6th graders and the Nautilus Program for 7th and 8th graders.
  • Implementing a Global Studies Program that focuses on foreign language immersion and acquisition and international travel opportunities.
  • Fostering a student leadership program emphasizing responsibility and real-world experiences, including a Junior Internship experience and a Senior Projects initiative linked to community action.
  • Leading the renovation and expansion of Ashley Hall’s 10-acre urban campus including the preservation of two historic properties transformed into 21st century learning environments.      
  • Creating community partnerships with Charleston area non-profits such as the Medical University of South Carolina, Gibbes Museum, and Horizons, South Carolina’s first tuition-free summer educational and enrichment program to advance educational equity.
  • Championing a diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging commitment essential to achieving educational and academic excellence.

Dr. Anne Thornhill Weston ‘73, currently Assistant Head of School and Director of Upper School, will serve as Interim Head of School. A seasoned administrator and alumna, she will lend her experience and knowledge of the school to guiding the community through a smooth and successful transition. Dr. Weston joined Ashley Hall in July 2015 after a succession of leadership roles at Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, SC, including as teacher, Intermediate School and Upper School Principal, Assistant Head, Director of Advancement and Alumni Engagement, Provost and Interim Head of School. With a Bachelor’s Degree from Duke University and a Master of Arts in Teaching with a concentration in Biology and a Doctorate in Health Promotion and Education both from the University of South Carolina, she has worked together with her colleagues on important curricular improvements and the strengthening of vital wellness programs in Ashley Hall’s Upper School, while celebrating with them an expanding record of student scholarship and college placements.

“Today, generations of distinguished Ashley Hall alumnae are making their mark on the world. The next six months will be a time of celebrating the innumerable ways Jill Muti has enriched our community, and looking forward to the next era of this extraordinary school that will fuel the pipeline of leaders for years to come,” Bleecker said.